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29.05.2017 The final of the International Criminal Court Competition, Russian version took place on May 19, 2017 in the Hague

On May 19, 2017, the final round of the ICC Competition, Russian version was held at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, featuring teams from Kazan Federal University, Moscow State University, and the Higher School of Economics, who took part in the final round after making it through the semifinals of the competition in April.

According to the results of the final round of the Competition, the team from the Higher School of Economics’ Law Faculty took second place. The team consisted of Julia Balandina, Zhargal Budaev, Lilya Belfer, and Anastasia Zakharova. In addition, Anastasia Zakharova, first-year Masters student, was recognised as the best speaker of the final round of the competition. The team was coached by ILPP lawyer Dimitry Mednikov, who coached the team both during the written part of the competition, which involved drafting three memoranda, and during the preparation for oral pleadings.

During the final round, one speaker from each team was chosen to represent one of three sides of the process (defence, prosecution, or victims). For 20 minutes the speaker had to present their side’s position on the case before a panel of judges. The panellists were judged by ICC Judge Geoffrey Henderson and ICC staff Hirad Abtahi and William St. Michel.


This year, the moot court case pertained to acute issues of international criminal law: 1) whether a government that took power as the result of a coup d’etat is competent to accept ICC jurisdiction; 2) whether the crime of genocide can be established in relation to persons of a third gender; and, 3) whether it is possible to hold a former child-combatant criminally liable for actions performed in that capacity.

The national stage of the International Criminal Court Competition, Russian version in 2017 was also attended by Grigory Vaypan, the head of Litigation at ILPP, and Natalia Secretareva, a lawyer at ILPP. Natalia adjudicated the competition at the first and second national rounds as a member of a panel of three judges, and Grigory Vaypan assessed the memoranda submitted by the teams.

We congratulate all the finalists for their fantastic results and wish them success in the future!



The International Criminal Court Competition, Russian version is held by the National Research University-Higher School of Economics with the support of the International Criminal Court and the Russian national branch of the International Association for Criminal Law.

The International Criminal Court, Russian version is a competition in international criminal law designed as a moot court to imitate the proceedings at the International Criminal Court.

The competition contains three stages.

During the first round teams draft memoranda in support of their position while simultaneously acting in three capacities – as representatives of the Government or Defence, as the Prosecution, and as representatives of the Complainant.

During the second round, the best teams selected during the first stage take part in oral pleadings and present their position on the moot court case in all three capacities before a panel of judges.

During the third and final round, the three best teams present their positions before the judges of the International Criminal Court in the Hague.


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